May 3, 2008
(not really, but that’s when it happened. I was unable to document it in real time.)
Our First Balloon Ride(s)
12 years in New Mexico & we finally go up in a hot air balloon. We’re a little slow, perhaps, but/& we’re savoring every moment as we always have been, haven’t we? I forget. But I savored it at the time. I tried to, anyway. I think. Therefore I uhhhh….
The Old-Timers’ Balloon Rally in Roswell, New Mexico. It was the I-have-no-idea-how-many annual one of those.
Now that we’re part of the Doyal Family by dint of our son Zerek having married Caryn nee Doyal; we’re inlaws with the inlaws, & they’ve been participating with this Albuquerque balloon crew for years & Caryn’s been telling us about it for years & this year, we got to become part of it.
The name of the balloon is A Touchie Subject. Its pilot is Fergie. We got to know & love the rest of the crew even though we don’t know all of their names yet.
Which will do for now.
Okay, this was followed by a Friday at the ‘new’ location of our shop like we never had at any of the various locations we have operated our little sign shop out of in this stinking little town over the years. Big Weekend in Roswell: Speed Channel doing a thing out at the Roswell Dragway, which has stupidly chosen to call itself Area 51 Dragway, Cable One needed some banners to put out there, Krumland Auto Group, which is the outfit that owns the Toyota/Scion store, the Honda store & the Hyundai store here, wanted to put some stuff on their racecar trailer, okay, it’s this guy that works at Toyota & he’s got 3 racers, one of which is him, & Krumland is sponsoring him, or they own his ass or something, at any rate they wanted to have their logo on both sides & the rear of the trailer, Joe wanted his logo, which didn’t even exist: Reiser Racing & the numbers of the 3 cars, each in a different gaudy flourescent color of vinyl, which is real expensive & we don’t keep that shit in stock so we would have to order it from a place in Albuquerque, on the 3 sides as well, I had to design it all in order to be able to figure out how much vinyl it was gonna take & how much it was gonna cost. I told Joe & Staci the Marketing Director about how there was good, fast & cheap & you get to pick 2. So it was gonna come to $3,800 bucks & that didn’t include the racecar he also wanted me to do. We were gonna try & do one side of the trailer for the weekend when Speed Channel was gonna be there & do the rest of it the next week. Half hour later Staci calls me back. They bailed.
There’s also55 Alive, a golf tournament at the Spring River Golfcourse being put on by the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, We did a mess of coro plast signs for the Hole Sponsors.
And other stuff, too.
So we got up real early Saturday morning & managed to show up at the old soccer field right across the street from the Wool Bowl all on the grounds of the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI, locals call it “Nimmy”) at 7 o’clock, which is like a really unusual kind of thing for us to do. We’re helping kind of helplessly here & there, spreading the envelope out on the grass, holding open the opening as the blower blows air into it & makes it big. Fergie lights up the burner & heats up the air in there, the envelope gets up off the grass, the gondola/basket is turned upright & there it is, it’s a big ol’ hot air balloon ready to fly up through the air that is heavier than it is. Their sponsor is the Roswell Lodgers Tax so there’s nobody from the sponsor there, having to be allowed the first ride. Zerek had already been established as being first on the list (there is no list). So he was in there & then Kevin was getting Heather in there & then somebody asked me if I would like to go. I didn’t have to be asked twice. I climbed on in & then we were off the ground, rising at a good rate, which Fergie announced after checking the guage, I forget what it was. It didn’t feel like we were moving all that fast, but the people down there on the grass got really small very quickly & there we were, floating above Roswell, 4,800 feet Above Ground Level.